Greenwich, CT

The Greenwich billionaire giving away his fortune

Ash Jurberg

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Mario Gabelli launched his first business when he was just five years old.

From an early age, the entrepreneurial spirit was in his blood and saw him become a billionaire. Gabelli is now worth $1.7 billion.

And he has promised to give most of his wealth away. So let's take a quick look at the Greenwich billionaire giving away his fortune.

The Greenwich billionaire giving away his fortune

Gabelli was born in New York in 1942, the son of Italian immigrants.

At the age of five, he set up a shoe-shine box at a Bronx subway station to make money, and he bought his first stocks at 13 years old. According to Gabelli, "lots of other entrepreneurial pursuits followed, including the sale of coffee and cigarettes at bingo games, caddying, and running dances."

He was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating from Fordham College of Business Administration summa cum laude. Gabelli then earned an MBA from Columbia Business School before beginning a career in finance.

In 1977 he founded Gamco, a mutual fund and investment firm, and quickly built a reputation for shrewd investment. Gamco currently has over $36.5 billion in assets under management and has offices in several locations in the United States, including Greenwich.

The business had made Gabelli a billionaire- and now he has promised to give most of it away.

The Giving Pledge

In 2017, Gabelli signed the Giving Pledge created by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, in which billionaires pledged to donate the majority of their fortune while they are still alive.

Gabelli primarily focused on supporting education.

Our family foundation has supported dozens of various causes over these many years, but our main focus is on education. Clearly it is the single most important thing that helped me achieve financial success. My family and I have a deep seated belief that the foundations of our country include the rule of law, the free market system, and meritocracy. Education generates the underpinning for meritocracy. In a grander sense, education is the transfer of accumulated knowledge for the benefit of all mankind.

Readers, what do you think of Gabelli's pledge? In addition to education, what organizations in Greenwich do you think he should support with his donations?

Please leave your comments below.

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